Shooting outside Empire State Building
Police say Jeffrey Johnson allegedly shot and killed a former coworker outside the Empire State Building at about 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24. Several others were injured.
- Multiple gun shots were fired outside the Empire State Building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan around 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24, while the streets were busy with people heading to work.
- Nine people were injured and two died, confirmed NYPD in a press conference. Those dead include the alleged gunman and his primary target, a former coworker.
Police said in a press conference that the shooting is suspected to be motivated by a workplace dispute.
The nine injured victims are expected to survive, according to the NYPD. CNN reports Saturday morning that police gunfire is responsible for wounding all nine victims, citing New York City's police commissioner.
The alleged shooter Jeffrey Johnson
- "We were screaming from the top (of a scaffolding), 'It's the guy in the grey suit,'" construction worker Chris Ogden told The New York Daily News.
NYPD identified the alleged shooter as Jeffrey Johnson, 53, of Manhattan. But the New York Times said he was 58.
- Johnson is a former employee of Hazan Imports, a women's clothing company. He was let go from the company about a year ago during downsizing, according to NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly. He had apparently been involved in a dispute with the dead victim, Kelly said, Johnson and his coworker had each filed police reports against each other in the past year.
- Read more about Jeffrey Johnson from The New York Times.
How the shooting happened
- Johnson approached his 41-year-old victim, a former coworker, and shot him three times with a .45 caliber handgun, said Kelly in a press conference Friday.
"He fired at close range, striking the 41-year-old victim in the head," Kelly said.
The name of the victim is not being released pending family notification, but the New York Times is identifying him as Steve Ercolino. The New York Daily News is reporting the victim was Johnson's ex-boss.
Johnson then walked away from the scene, heading eastbound. When police approached him, Kelly said Johnson pulled his gun on the police.
"They returned fire," Kelly said, and Johnson was killed.
Kelly said Johnson tried shooting at police, but it is unclear "if he got any rounds off." The New York Times is now reporting that he did not.
- Police are withholding the name of the victim allegedly killed by Johnson, but media is identifying him as Steve Ercolino:
- Ercolino is listed as the Vice President of Sales at Hazan Import Corp. on LinkedIn. His profile says he has been with the company since 2005.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Fashion from the State University at New York College at Oneonta, according to the profile. Ercolino had this photo posted:
- Nine other people were injured at the scene of the shooting.
All nine are expected to survive. Six were taken to HHC Bellevue and three to New York Presbyterian Hospital. Three men and three women were admitted to Bellevue, reports The New York Times. All are in stable condition and range in age from 20 to 43.
- UPDATE In fact, at least some of them were.
'Nothing to do with terrorism'
- "There's clearly a murder here and a murder victim," Kelly said in Friday morning's press conference. "Nothing to do with terrorism."
Rumors of terrorism spread quickly prior to the press conference. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi tweeted this:
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